Online resource provides free tools, simulations for composite materials

October 2, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Individuals in industrial associations, educational institutions and government organizations who are interested in composites, or materials made from constituent materials with different physical or chemical properties, now have free, 24/7 access to simulation tools through an online community with offices in the Purdue Research Park.

The Composites Design and Manufacturing HUB (cdmHUB) is a cloud-based cooperative platform that hosts composites manufacturing simulation tools that can be accessed from the Internet through a Web browser. cdmHUB received its initial funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It became a tenant of Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette in 2014.

Johnathan Goodsell, assistant director of cdmHUB and visiting assistant professor in Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said the online platform is a place to convene the composites community and to direct the field toward key strategic issues to further advance the adoption and manufacture of composite materials.

"Composites have been adopted by a variety of sectors, but more work needs to be done to promote simulation and product certification," he said. "The current model to certify products is through extensive experimentation, which is very expensive and time-consuming. It doesn't take full advantage of what simulation and modeling tools have to offer. People in government, industry, academia and the general population can access cdmHUB to evaluate these simulations and tools, and then educate others about them."

Goodsell said cdmHUB hosts tools that range from simple ones that require only small amounts of computational cycles to those that require the power of supercomputing systems. It also hosts learning tools that teach the underlying principles upon which the tool is based and demonstrate the correct use and limitations of the tool.

"cdmHUB provides a forum for evaluation of tool performance by the user community through hosted discussions and rating systems. The community also can post 'wish lists' for discussion," he said. "Tools developed and placed on the hub are subjected to a financial analysis to determine their worth to the hub, and the developer is rewarded accordingly. There are policies in place to protect security and address intellectual property issues if they arise."

cdmHUB's sponsors include Purdue University, Boeing, Cytec Engineering Materials, DARPA, Dassault Systemes, Henkel and Rolls-Royce. Goodsell said cdmHUB and Purdue University have similar missions.

"At its heart, cdmHUB's mission is to educate and deepen the understanding about composites, then propagate and disseminate information and knowledge," he said. "It will increase understanding of where modeling tools are and explore today's unanswered questions about composites. Doing this will feed university and government research, which could lead to new products for sectors as varied as commercial and military aircraft, automotive and marine manufacturing, sporting goods and energy."

cdmHUB officials will make presentations and exhibit Oct. 13-16 at the Composites and Advanced Manufacturing Expo (CAMX) in Orlando, and Oct. 28 at JEC Americas 2014 in Boston.

About the Composites and Design Manufacturing HUB

The Composites Design and Manufacturing HUB (cdmHUB) is a collaborative Web interface platform designed to enhance and build synergies among the composite community by enabling users to interact 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The platform was developed to host the simulation tools needed to advance composite materials design, certify product integrity, simulation manufacturing solutions and accelerate the talent base of composite materials developers and users. The cdmHUB will showcase emerging simulation tools, evaluate existing and emerging simulation tools and host simulation challenges to educate and unify the composites community.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in four sites in Indiana: West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the parks employ about 4,500 people who earn an average annual wage of $63,000. The park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342,

Source: Johnathan Goodsell,

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